Google Delays Third Party Cookies Plan

Google has delayed its decision to phase out the use of third-party cookies in Chrome for the second time, the new deadline is now late 2024, but what does this mean for businesses?

Google originally planned to disable third-party cookies in 2022 but delayed the decision until 2023. This has now been delayed again until the later half of 2024.
In a recent post on Google’s Keyword blog, the VP of The Privacy Sandbox Initiative, Anthony Chavez, said:
“The most consistent feedback we’ve received is the need for more time to evaluate and test the new Privacy Sandbox technologies before deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome. This feedback aligns with our commitment to the CMA to ensure that the Privacy Sandbox provides effective, privacy-preserving technologies and the industry has sufficient time to adopt these new solutions”
Read the full blog post here or view the proposed new timeline here.
The Privacy Sandbox Initiative was created to produce innovative technology to protect people’s privacy and support the growth of digital businesses. One of the main focuses of the initiative is to limit invasive tracking actions such as fingerprinting, which is when information is collected on your device or browser, to track your activity over time, without your knowledge.
Google is looking to collaborate with ‘members of the industry – including publishers, developers, advertisers, and more’ to develop better privacy standards.

So, what does this mean for businesses?

After this announcement, it might be tempting to put off making preparations for when third-party cookies are disabled and breathe a sigh of relief.
However, we would encourage businesses to make the most of this extra time to conduct research and identify alternative solutions and ways to collect valuable customer data.
We recently published another article which may be useful, this explains a few simple ways businesses can increase their first-party data. Read the full article here.

Are there likely to be more delays in the future?

Many people in the affected industries believe this is just the beginning of more delays in the future, and that this could even mean the project will eventually be scrapped. This is increasingly unlikely though, due to the commitments Google has already made to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
Put simply, this means Google need to ensure the CMA are satisfied with the ‘competition’ aspect of the overall situation, which could take some time. This is mainly due to the fact that Google will be in a much better position as an industry giant, than the average company, when third-party cookies are disabled.
Other businesses will have the solutions created by the Privacy Sandbox Initiative, whereas Google will also have access to a huge source of first-party data.
Overall, the process is definitely going to take some time and there could be more delays in the future but the changes are still coming and businesses need to adapt in order to thrive in the future landscape.

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